Entrepreneurial Money Management

Marci talks about the financial issues & concerns business owners’ face when running their own company.

Twitter? Facebook? Blogs? I Don't Have Time for That

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The noise level surrounding social media for business is deafening. Can we, as entrepreneurs, actually generate business out of all this stuff? Maybe, if we're smart about it.

Let's just get it out in the open: we are all a little bit afraid that we'll get so entrenched in keeping our Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter profiles up to date that our businesses will suffer. The old model of buying advertising was easy - we spent one week yelling at our graphic designers and ad venues, then enjoyed three glorious months of new business calls coming in from the ads.  Social media is not easy. We've got to login every day, and risk getting distracted by the rambling commentary of your friends and colleagues. 

I have used social media to promote various companies for about six years now, and have generated some very interesting sales results from the effort. But I'll tell you most of the value for entrepreneurs comes from keeping in touch, and top-of-mind with the people we already know.  

Over time, I've settled on two or three technologies that I really like- Facebook is my favorite, followed by Blogs, and LinkedIn. I've found that I put the most useful content for prospects on my blogs, and then my web site focuses on converting visitors to clients.  Therefore, my Facebook/LinkedIN profiles drive readers to the blogs, and the blogs give readers good reasons to work with me. Then the readers click over to my site for contact information.  

All of the other social media tools I have left out of my mix for now. Just like we can't afford to buy ads in every paper, we can't afford to spend time on every social media platform. 

I'm afraid that I will always dislike Twitter, but have come to terms with the scorn I get from the Twitterati about it. These days I use it as an emergency broadcast system - if I ever do Tweet, I have Twitter set up to post that same update to all of my other social media accounts such as my blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. It gives me a big bang, for little effort. 

The tradeoff, I don't do any traditional advertising anymore. I attend lots of networking events with the goal of finding people to link to in social media. And then over time I reel them in from there. General sales cycle:  1 week to 6 months. 

How have you been using social media? What's working for you?  Write comments below and let's share some ideas. 

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  • Social media has become a waste of time for me.  However, I do post things here and there.  What works best for me is volunteering and getting involved in my community.

  • They are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.

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